So...where exactly did Lady Catherine get the idea that Liz and Darcy were a thing?
Not that they're a thing. Yet. Maybe. Hopefully. But probably not. Right?
And then Dad Bennet calls Lizzie in and congrats her on schmoozing with the big D.
How does HE know??
Collins wrote to Mr. Bennet saying "Hey! Congrats on Jane's engagement and I'm slightly worried about Lizzie's engagement to the big D--Lady Catherine came over for tea this afternoon and smashed all of the tea cups in the house. Seemed like maybe she was mad about something, and all she kept saying was "Elizabeth!! RAWR!!! Darcy!! RAWR!!!" I eventually figured it out....sooooo maybe can you not have your daughter marry Mr. Darcy, so that I can keep my dishes in tact?"
Mr. Bennet thinks this is the funniest sh** he has ever read. Elizabeth does not know what to feel. So what does she do? YOU GUESSED IT:
And actually she ends up going on a walk with Bingley and Jane and Darcy. And when both Elizabeth and Darcy about to vomit from the cuteness eminating from the general direction of Jangley, they take a different path and find themselves alone.
DARCY: My aunt.
DARCY: I'm so so sorry.
LIZZIE: After what you've done for Jane, for Lydia, for all of us, I can forgive the occasional impropriety of your familial relations. Because mine are completely proper in every way, of course.
DARCY: Of course....You know, it was for you. (breath) If you still feel the way you did last April, say so. My feelings have not changed.
LIZZIE: You could say, potentially, that things have changed.
LIZZIE: YOU'RE AMAZING AND I ADORE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU EVEN THE PARTS THAT DRIVE ME TOTALLY INSANE AND I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF OUR LIVES HEADBUTTING WITH EACH OTHER AND BEING STUBBORN AND STUPID FOREVER TOGETHER.
Or something like that.
Lizzie finds out that Lady Catherine is actually responsible for Darcy giving it one more go. On her way back home, she reached out to Darcy and told him how her conversation with Elizabeth had gone, hoping to convince him that Lizzie is a total wild animal. And she did convince him of that, but not in a bad way, and her story also hinted to Darcy that Lizzie might actually like him.
So now the only thing that's left is to tell the Bennets, and get Mr. Bennet's blessing for the marriage. This is not as easy as it might sound
On the one hand, Mrs. Bennet could hate it because she hates Mr. Darcy. On the other hand she could love it because Darcy is rich.
Darcy talks to Mr. Bennet. Mr. Bennet talks to Elizabeth.
"I mean, he's rich, certainly. But will you be happy, Lizzie?"
"Yeah, I think so, Dad. I'm in love with him."
Needless to say Mr. Bennet is knocked off his rocker. He can see she means it.
"Then I heartily give my consent."
And it's only then that Elizabeth reveals to him the full extent of what Darcy has done for the family. Mr. B is knocked off his rocker and rolling on the floor. (not literally)
The Dad-half settled, Lizzie now works on her mother.
"AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MY LIZZIE MARRIED OMG OMG OMG OMG YOU WILL BE SO RICH! SO MANY CARRIAGES! GAHAAAAAAAAAAA I'M SO HAPPY MY LIZZIE, MY LIZZIE MARRIED TO MR. DARCY!!!!"
Nothing to worry about there.
This week's chapters were written by Caitlin Lushington.
NEXT WEEK: We wrap it all up.
What???@!! Mr. Bingley is BACK??? I’M SHOCKED, I TELL YOU, SHOCKED.
Yes, that’s right. Mr. Bingley comes back to Longbourne, alone, in excellent good humor (so….regular Bingley). He sits with the whole Bennet family for over an hour! Like talking to them and stuff! Take notes, F. Darcy.
At Mrs. Bennet’s invitation, he comes the next day as well, so early that none of the girls or their mother have had time to get dressed. Mrs. Bennet flies into Jane and Elizabeth’s room in a state of disarray, curlers still in, face mask still on.
Mrs. B: Mr. Bingley is here! Oh my goodness oh dear ah
Jane and Lizzy: (half asleep) Ngh?
Mrs. B: SARAH!!! Sarah, do Jane’s hair! Immediately! DON’T worry about Lizzy’s, for heaven’s sakes--
Mrs. Bennet tries throughout the entire visit to get Jane and Mr. Bingley alone together. Eventually, true to their type, Mr. Bennet goes to the library, Mary goes to practice the piano somewhere, which just leaves Elizabeth, Kitty, and Mrs. B. Instead of acting normal and suggesting that Elizabeth and Kitty go for a walk or something, Mrs. Bennet sits their and winks at them surreptitiously for goodness knows how long. Elizabeth ignores her out of sheer exasperation, but Kitty goes so far as to say “What is the matter, mama? Why do you keep winking at me?”
Mrs. B: I’M NOT…winking….though now that you mention it, Kitty, dear? Did you leave your knitting in the fireplace? I thought I saw--
Kitty: What!! Oh no! (Runs out of the room)
Jane [Mouthing wildly at Elizabeth] Don’t leave me!
Mrs. B: Lizzy? May I SPEAK with you? NOW?
Elizabeth: I…fine. [Leaves]
But despite all this, Bingley STILL doesn’t propose to Jane! What is taking this guy so long? Does he not realize that he’s driving this entire family crazy with anticipation? But he agrees to come by the next morning to go shooting with Mr. B, and afterwards, comes back again for dinner. Mrs. B, more successfully this time, strives to get everyone out of the room. Elizabeth goes off to write a letter, later walking in on Jane and Bingley engaged in “earnest conversations” that breaks off as soon as Elizabeth enters the room. Awkward. Bingley says something to Jane again before quitting the room, and Jane embraces Elizabeth immediately, saying that she was “the happiest creature in the world! ‘Tis too much! By far too much. I do not deserve it. Oh! Why is not everybody as happy!”
What a relief! Elizabeth is overjoyed, for a number of reasons—at Jane’s happiness, at Caroline’s scheming coming to naught, the quick and easy resolution of two years’ romantic tension. Jane leaves to inform her mother of the happy occasion, and Bingley shortly afterwards returns to the room, having spoken with Mr. Bennet. Bingley finds Elizabeth alone, and offers her the sincere affections and good wishes of a brother. Believing himself to be the happiest creature in the world, and monologues in full about Jane’s perfections, leaving Elizabeth quite in agreement with him and of the opinion that he and her sister will be very happy together, perfectly suited in disposition and attitude as they are.
Jane, in her happiness, looks more beautiful than ever. Everyone, in fact, is overcome with happiness, even Mr. Bennet, though he hides it better than others. Mrs. Bennet is in delight over her good fortune—two out of five! Done!—and talks for what I’m sure is hours about how she knew it all along, it could have never been otherwise, it was meant to be, I knew she could not be so beautiful for nothing, etc.
From this point on, Bingley visits, if possible, even more. He visits practically every day, unless he has an engagement elsewhere. On each occasion Mrs. Bennet finds out who on earth could be keeping him away and makes a voodoo doll of said person, and stabs them repeatedly with a small needle. When Jane is able to find some time alone with Elizabeth, she informs her of the detestable circumstances surrounding London. Apparently Bingley was totally ignorant of Jane being in town at all, Caroline having craftily kept it from him.
Jane: How extra of her! What a…fake!
Elizabeth: I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD OF YOU EVER.
Elizabeth does not mention Mr. Darcy’s interference, her own feelings on the matter being complicated, besides which she didn’t want Jane to feel ill towards him after everything he had done for them.
Jane: Oh, Lizzy. If only I could see you as happy! If only there was such a man for you!
Elizabeth: I don’t think I can ever be as happy as you, but perhaps, “if I have very good luck, I may meet with another Mr. Collins in time”.
In the morning, about a week after the engagement, Bingley & the Bennets (good name for a band) are hanging out at Longbourne when they hear the approach of a carriage. Not expecting any visitors, they are understandably at a loss as to who it could be. Jane and Bingley escape to the shrubbery for a walk (or to go make out, but obviously Austen doesn’t say this), while the rest stay to welcome their guest, whoever it may be. Suddenly, the wind begins to howl, the house creaks, the windows rattle, and the door is thrown open in a gust of wind as LADY CATHERINE DE BOURGH enters the Bennet household.
Austen: Dun dun DUNNNN!
Mrs. B, Kitty, Mary, Mr. B: Who is this person?
Lady Catherine barely nods to Elizabeth in acknowledgment of her presence; she might as well be entering her own home. She goes and sits down without a word while Elizabeth explains to her mother just who the heck this is.
Mrs. B: Lady Catherine!! Oh my goodness me well, this is just, what an unexpected--
Lady Catherine: Is that thing your mother?
Lady Catherine [pointing to Kitty]: And this is…one of its…progeny?
Elizabeth: That is one of my sisters, yes.
Mrs. B: My youngest daughter, my lady, excepting of course LYDIA, whom I don’t suppose you know has just recently been married to--
Lady Catherine: Your yard is quite small. And your windows, facing this way, the sun will be right in your eyes as it sets.
Mrs. B: We never use this room and never have.
Lady Catherine: Miss Bennet, there seemed to me a spot of grass in your yard that is not entirely disgusting to me. Would you mind very much going to examine it with me?
As they walk along outside, Elizabeth waits for Lady Catherine to speak, having no desire to initiate conversation with someone behaving so rudely. She does not have to wait long.
Lady Catherine: Naturally you understand why I have come and are only refraining from apologizing because you are paralyzed with guilt.
Elizabeth: I have literally no clue why you are here.
Lady Catherine: Do not mess with me, young lady. You will find such evasion ineffectual with someone as sincere and frank as myself. I have been told that not only was your own sister to be advantageously married, but that you, yourself, were to be married to my nephew Mr. Darcy. Thinking it an excellent joke if nonetheless in very poor taste, I came down at once to make sure you knew that it was never going to happen ever.
Elizabeth: If you thought it was a joke, I wonder you thought I might take it half as seriously.
Lady Catherine: To make sure that such a rumor was universally contradicted!
Elizabeth: Well, quite frankly, your coming here will have almost the exact opposite effect. If, indeed, such a report exists.
Lady Catherine: Knowing as I do of the behavior of your family, I know it has been industrially circulated by yourselves.
Elizabeth: It really really hasn’t.
Lady Catherine: Can you honestly say there is no foundation for it?
Lady Catherine: I’m going to make this perfectly simple. Has my nephew made you an offer of marriage?
Elizabeth: “Your ladyship has declared it to be impossible”.
Lady Catherine: You could have seduced him with your arts and manipulations.
Elizabeth: My WHAT?
Lady Catherine: Look. I’ll make this perfectly simple. Mr. Darcy is engaged to my daughter so you could never marry him anyway. So there.
Elizabeth: So what’s the problem?
Lady Catherine: The engagement is not a…formal one. It was decided upon by his mother and myself in their infancy. And now you HAVE SEDUCED HIM AND RUINED EVERYTHING.
Elizabeth: Okay, I didn’t do that. And even if I had, the culmination of the engagement depends upon him. If he wishes to marry his cousin, he may do so, and if he wishes to marry me, he may do so. And if I wish to accept him, I may do so as well!
Lady Catherine: If you do this, you will be the most despicable creature on earth, and our family shall never acknowledge your existence.
Elizabeth: A hard life, to be sure. I shall be so sad living in my big mansion with my handsome husband with no in-laws to talk to. Oh how sad.
Lady Catherine: A young woman with no connections, fortune, or family of any degree, to be connected with a gentleman of such high standing—it is not to be endured. Tell me once and for all, are you engaged to him?
Lady Catherine: Ah. And can you promise me that you will never enter into such an engagement.
Elizabeth: Uh, no.
Lady Catherine: Iiiii BEG YOUR PARDON. And what of your sister? To be united to the son of my nephew’s steward in a patched up marriage and the expense of your father and uncle? Is such a girl to be my nephew’s sister? “ARE THE SHADES OF PEMBERLY TO BE THUS POLLUTED”?
Elizabeth: Well, now you can have nothing further to say, having insulted me in every way possible. I think you should probably leave. [MIC DROP]
Lady Catherine: This—this—this! This is not over! Depend on it, Miss Bennet, I will carry my point. “I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously displeased”. [Off she goes].
NEXT WEEK: Will Lady Catherine stand in the way of Darcy and Liz??
This week's chapters were written by Helena Fisher-Welsh, who is playing Elizabeth Bennet in our production of "Pride & Prejudice: An Adaptation."
After reading through her letters and having a SUPER embarrassing encounter with Darcy, Lizzie was exhausted. Following countless cups of tea to help her to gather her thoughts (and her nerves) she was finally able to broach the subject of The Scandalous Elopement with her aunt and uncle.
“With the facts of the situation being what they are,” Uncle Gardiner “I have to agree with Jane on this one. Lydia isn’t alone in this world. I can’t imagine that Wickham would elope with her to take advantage of her when he knows that Lydia has family and friends to look after her. I am inclined to hope for the best—that they are in love and plan to marry.”
While a tiny part of Lizzie’s mind was screaming “YOU’RE A MORON, UNCLE! WICKHAM IS BAD NEWS: JUST ASK DARCY!” the fact was, she much preferred her uncle’s optimism, and as much as she doubted Wickham’s intentions were honorable, it made her a little happier to briefly imagine the possibility that they were. Even so, the situation was mind-boggling. Especially the suggestion that they had gone to Scotland, of all places! What is even IN Scotland? Haggis? Thistles? Do they even have tea there? Lizzie shuddered. Imagine a world without tea. How barbaric.
“To my mind, it seems most logical that they’ve hidden themselves away in London. They can’t have much money between the two of them, and it would be easier to get married cheaply in London than it would in Scotland.”
“Even so, Uncle, I still don’t see why their wedding has to be in secret! I have heard it said that Wickham cannot afford to marry a woman without money, and Lydia has nothing to offer him in that regard.”
Uncle Gardiner frowned. “Do you think so little of Lydia that she would live with him on any terms other than marriage?”
“I don’t know. Lydia is a young, impulsive romantic, and for the past year the only thing she has been doing is partying and flirting. Who knows what warped logic she has at this point!”
Thinking about Lydia’s naivety and the consequences this stupid decision would have on her youngest sister’s life made Lizzie’s blood boil. Lizzie began to blame herself. She knew that Lydia couldn’t be trusted alone with a camp full of soldiers. She should have pushed her father more to keep Lydia at home. She also knew the horrible deeds Wickham had been accused of by Mr. Darcy; she should have made her family aware of Wickham’s true character rather than keeping that knowledge to herself. True, when Lydia left for Brighton, Lizzie had no idea that Wickham and Lydia might be fond of one another, but as an older sister, was it not her duty to look after her younger siblings and keep them out of danger? Surely Lydia wouldn’t be so fooling as to run off with Wickham if she knew of his history… or would she?
This chaotic whirlwind of guilt and anger occupied Lizzie’s mind for most of the trip back to Longbourne. Thankfully Jane was ready and waiting to meet Lizzie and update her on all of the goings on.
“Papa has arrived safely into town, but has nothing significant to report. Mama, as you may have guessed, is a hot mess, poor dear.”
Jane’s comment was accentuated by a harsh wail from the direction of their mother’s bedroom.
Further questioning of Jane revealed that there was no news, although Jane remained hopeful that the situation would all turn out for the best. Thankfully out of the goodness of his heart, Uncle Gardiner offered to assist as best he could in the search.
After WAY too much waiting, news arrived at last, in the form of Lydia’s farewell letter, which Colonel Forester had sent along to Uncle Gardiner:
My Dear Harriet,
What up? Lolz. You’re probably wondering where I am, right? Well, here’s the dealio (I’m letting you know first because you are my BFF): I am going to Gretna Green with the only man that I love (and if you don’t know who I mean, I will be totes ashamed of you!). I am redonkulously happy!
Also, don’t tell my family because I want to imagine the look on their faces when I write to them and sign my name: Lydia Wickham. It will be such a scream!! I can hardly write for laughing! Also, do tell Sally to mend the tear in my dress – she knows the one I mean—and let Pratt know that I’m sorry I had to break my promise to dance with him tonight, but that I’ll catch him at the next ball!
Upon reading the letter, Mrs. Bennet, understandably, had a fit of hysterics and the Bennett household flew into an uproar once more.
Mr. Bennett had always been a man of few words: a quality which the Bennett family usually did not mind, but in light of the Lydia drama, it proved infuriating.
The more that Wickham was scrutinized, the more moneylenders Mr. Bennett and Mr. Gardiner discovered. The two men came to the inevitable conclusion that Wickham was a wicked man indeed. In spite of all of this chaos, they seemed to be making little progress in locating Lydia and Wickham.
Just when you thought the situation couldn’t become more stressful for the Bennett family, they received a mortifying letter from Mr. Collins intended for Mr. Bennett:
Because we are family I felt the need to send my condolences for the current trial you are enduring. You have my deepest sympathy during this trying time.
Indeed, your daughter’s death would be a blessing in comparison to this. It is even more to be lamented because, my dear Charlotte inform me, his licentiousness of behavior in your daughter comes from a faulty degree of indulgence of yourself and Mrs. Bennett. In spite of this, you are grievously to be pitied, and Mrs. Collins, Lady Catherine, and her daughter agree with me that this injurious act of your daughter will harm the fortunes of your other daughters as well.
This consideration does lead me to reflect with augmented satisfaction on certain events of last November, for had it been otherwise, I might have been involved in all of your sorrow and disgrace. Let me advise you, dear sir, to console yourself as much as possible and cut all connections with your child and leave her to suffer the consequences of her actions.
This, of course, did not go over well in the Bennett household, and Mrs. Bennett, who had already worried herself sick over the possibility of Mr. Bennett being killed in an imaginary duel with Wickham was beside herself.
At long last, Mr. Bennett returned home, feeling sufficiently guilty and wearied by fruitless searching.
“You were right to warn me, Lizzie. Your advice showed greatness of mind… if only I had listened!”
“Do not blame yourself, Papa. There was no way for us to know that this would happen!”
“I might as well lock myself away in my room, like you dear Mother is doing. Add a little elegance to our misfortunate by giving as much trouble as I can until Kitty decides to run away.”
Kitty sniffed indignantly, “I am not going to run away Papa. If I were to go to Brighton I would behave much better than Lydia!”
Incensed, Mr. Bennett lost his shit. “YOU go to Brighton? Not going to happen. I have learned my lesson, Kitty. No officer is to ever enter my house again or even to pass through the village. Balls are a no-go unless you stand up with one of your sisters, and you are not allowed outdoors unless you have proven that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational matter.”
Understandably, Kitty burst into tears.
“There, there, Kitty. Do not make yourself unhappy. If you’re a good girl for the next ten years I’ll reconsider my position.”
This week's chapters were written by Miss Lydia Bennet herself, Kylie Rose.
NEXT WEEK: How To Marry Off Your Insane Psycho Youngest Daughter--just add Darcy!
*Sigh* Let’s get this over with.
The only reason I’m doing this is because we need someone sensible and impartial to talk this over with you, so of course it falls to me, Mary. With Elizabeth occupied with Darcy, Jane starstruck by Bingley, and god knows what Kitty and Lydia are up to, I had to step in.
Important gossip that I-know-but-don’t-care-about: Darcy proposed and was refused by Lizzie, because he was a jerk - or so she thought. Whereas in reality, he was just trying to be a good friend and look out for the people he cared about blah blah blah. So now Lizzie is falling in love with this man that she barely knows (I get it, she hasn’t realized it yet, but come on, it’s obvious).
Now that we’re all caught up, Lizzie (it’s just all about her isn’t it?) was in a sour mood so our Aunt and Uncle (the Gardiners) took her for a road trip. In their high spirits they decided to pay a visit to Pemberley (You know, the place where Lizzie’s non-existant ex lives? Great plan, guys).
Luckily Mr. Darcy seemed to be out for the moment, so Liz was free to drool over statues, paintings and busts of him. All the while the-best-wingman-ever AKA the housekeeper is talking Darcy waay up. All about how kind-hearted he is and how handsome--of course Liz agrees (if you’re in to that whole brooding man-who-quietly-nurses-injured-deer-back-to-life-in-his-spare-time kind of guy). And to top it off, Darcy's a sweet older brother. How much cuter can you get?
Really if Darcy wanted to win Elizabeth over, he should have just invited her for a visit of his estates and let his housekeeper talk to her. That’s how any sensible man would go about it.
After they’re done inspecting all of the paintings inside they go to see the gardens--I mean why not? You’re with the GARDINers after all (sorry not sorry). They’ve been told Mr. Darcy is out but when they go to see the grounds, suddenly he rounds a corner and there is an instant look and blush shared between Darcy and Liz (Ew I sound like Kitty). Annnd that’s when it gets a bit awkward. I mean, suddenly seeing the person who you proposed to and was venomously refused by is not the best surprise for either party. Especially since they’re both in love with each other.
God, it’s such a headache to think about, why do people fall in love anyway? Such a waste of time.
Anyway, after some of the most painfully awkward moments of their lives, Darcy makes his hasty exit. Honestly, she ran the risk of seeing him when she decided to GO TO HIS HOUSE, think things through Lizzie-COME ON!
They continue to look at the grounds but really Liz just wants to go home, it’s been a weird day. Mr. Gardiner, however, is preoccupied by fish (??!!) and they make slow progress back to the carriage. Suddenly, Mr. Darcy appears again and they make the awkward introductions that they missed the last time--Aunt and Uncle, meet The Man I Rejected But Now Realize How Totally Awesome His House Is. Darcy proceeds to walk them back to the house and is surprisingly civil, going out of his way to invite Mr. Gardiner fishing.
Lizzie is lost in thoughts of ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ (Barf) and doesn’t contribute to the conversation much. They end up walking next to each other and she explains that she had no idea he would be here today (wow everything about this is painfully awkward). The conversation turns to him, and he asks if he can introduce her to Miss Georgiana Darcy, I mean how can you refuse? While they had been talking, they made it to the carriage and have to wait AGAIN (in yet another awkward silence) for Mr. and Ms. Gardiner to catch up.
Once they're in the carriage, Mrs. Gardiner grills Lizzie about why she thought Mr. Darcy was disagreeable in the slightest, seeing as he has shown perfect composure and politeness. I don’t think Lizzie admitted anything, just sat quietly and let them decide their own minds about him.
Well then, there you have it. It’s sickening how much Lizzie’s life resembles a romance novel, isn’t it? I believe that’s all the awkwardness I can handle for today.
Have fun, be sensible, goodbye.
CHAPTERS 44, 45, 46
Well I’m back, by popular demand. Not really, but I can pretend can’t I? Kitty is sulking, Lidia is unfortunately flirting, Lizzie is *too* busy being the main character, and Jane is staring dreamily at our ginger cat, so it’s up to me to update you. I was also informed I needed to “Jazz it up” (Kitty’s words, not mine) so here it goes.
We last left off with Lizzie having one of the most awkward days imaginable and now I’m here for round 2. Let’s see if we can beat it, Shall we?
In our right corner we have our five time champion Lizzie Bennet, what with (1) refusing a man, then (2) showing up unannounced at his house to drool at statues of him, then (3) SURPRISE seeing him at his own house and (4) being caught mid drool, and then (5) the multiple stiff silences exchanged between the two.
Aaand in our left corner we have the original tall - dark - and - handsome himself misssttteerr Darcy! Those brooding looks gave away no feeling before he proposed to the woman of his dreams--while also insulting her family and admitting to keeping her sister from happiness--and guess what? got rejected! His heart still longs for her but will she ever love him back?? Here we go.
(Is this ‘Jazzy’ enough for you?)
Alright, so Darcy has asked to introduce Elizabeth to his younger sister Georgiana. Lizzy said yes and that they should come the day after she gets back from Pemberley--BUT they arrive sooner than intended (AWK point = 1 Darcy). Lizzy comes to like Georgiana--even though she’s pretty shy. Soon Bingley joins them and she also determines that he is still at least a tiny bit in love with Jane (Very good, very good). And I mean at this point it’s pretty obvious that Darcy is in love with Elizabeth, the Gardiners see it right away and when Darcy invited her to dine with them the following night they are *quite* supportive. The next day Lizzie and Ms. Gardiner go to visit Georgiana and run into Bingley's sisters (AWK point = 1 Lizzie). Who, might I add, are very insensitive to common decencies, they tried to talk about Wickham in front of Georgiana--You know the guy shE ALMOST RAN AWAY AND ELOPED WITH.
Whoa. Sorry, that just seems super rude, even if you only wanted to take a jab at Elizabeth. And she continues to try throughout the night! Miss Bingley brings up later to Darcy how he used to not favor her looks but boy does she get shot down. With a cold look and a quick comment of she is ‘one of *the* most handsome women I know’ pretty much silenced her after that. (Hehe, take that!) (~Calm down Mary~) (Why can’t I get enough of this stuff?)
OK, so with the Bingley lady’s pity party over, Lizzie heads back to the Inn but life can’t be normal, can it? Let me set this up as a joke: Lizzie walks into an Inn and finds two letters one detailing her sister eloping with a man she once fancied (AWK point = 1 Lizzie) and also knows to be a disgusting human being and one saying there has been no words since they ran away. Hilarious. Being the sensible girl she is, she goes to get our aunt and uncle’s help only to run into the man of the hour Darcy. She tells him everything (Because they’re close now, right?) and in the classic Darcy/Lizzie response they both blame themselves for other people’s misfortunes (I ship it). Lizzie packs her things, apologizing profusely for ruining her dinner date with Miss Darcy (I mean Georgiana, I’m not that sassy).
So update: Kitty is sulking, Lidia is god knows where, Lizzie is still *too* busy being the main character, and Jane is...well--nevermind. It’s still up to me but I really need a break. I can’t deal with all these other people’s problems! It’s ridiculous! My nerves are shot!
O.h. g.o.d. I sound like my mother.
This week's chapters were written by our very own Katie McFarland, who will be playing Mary Bennet in our upcoming production.
NEXT WEEK: The search for Lydia & Wickham continues as public opinion turns against Wicked Wickham.
Lydia here. What up, bestie? LOLZ. Anywho, you will NOT believe what just happened. No seriously, you won’t. Have you given up guessing yet? Good. Because I’M GOING TO BRIGHTON AFTER ALL. That’s right, bitches. LYDIA FOR THE WIN!!!
Are you surprised? Because you shouldn’t be. Nothing was going to get between me and a summer filled with hunky soldiers at the beach. NOTHING. My future husband is waiting for me in Brighton and our summer romance/meet-cute is gonnabe EPIC. LOLZ. I’m totes gonna get my flirt on!
How did this happen, you ask, when Papa has been so determined to be a grumpy pants and refused Mama’s, Kitty’s and my best pleading and Lizzie has been trying to hurt morale by comparing us to yowling cats? [Srsly. Yowling cats. WTF Lizzie? What is that even about?] Well, you know my latest BFF, Mrs. Forster? She has invited me as her special friend to join her in Brighton for the summer! YAAAAAAAS! Mama is, of course, over-the-moon excited for me, Jane seemed supportive enough [Shrug. Thanks Jane! Lol] and Kitty is insanely jealous. ROFL. It’s not my fault that I’m more popular than she is and that Mrs. Forster and I are such intimate friends! Seriously though, I do need to see if I can make up with her so that I can borrow her bonnet with the pink ribbon… worst comes to worst, maybe I can “borrow” it without permission. She’d understand later, after she has had some time to clear her head and to realize that her bonnet is ESSENTIAL for my summer romance wardrobe.
Mary, of course, rolled her eyes at me when she heard my news. That’s right. SHE ROLLED HER EYES. AT ME. I literally do not even understand Mary. At all. Don’t get it. But I won’t have to worry about Mary’s judgement for an entire summer because I will be surrounded by loads of fit, handsome soldiers that I daresay I won’t have time to even think about my family! LOL. JK! I promised I’d write heaps of letters. I really will try (if only for the joy of gloating to Kitty), but I’ve never been one for writing letters, especially when there are drool-worthy men to flirt with.
Papa, of course has been very supportive. How could he not be? I have been invited to join the wife of a well-respected colonel in BRIGHTON for the summer. I mean, it’s totes obvs that Lizzie is his favorite [Rude, am I right?] but I think he admires my determination and maturity and that’s why he’s letting me go. Success!
Seriously though, on the Lizzie front, WTF is even going on with that girl? I told her Wickham is single again and she’s all, “Whatever.” Whatever?!? You had a thing but he got engaged to that ghastly girl, but now he’s single again and ready to mingle. Specifically WITH LIZZIE. And then he was chatting her up about her trip and she’s all, “Oh, DARCY improved with better acquaintance.” How could she say that to Wickham after what that douche did to him? I’m pretty positive she’s blown her chances with Wickie. Totes awks. But I will prevail! I will find husbands for all of my sisters (even Mary… Yikes!) because that’s what you gotta do when you’re the youngest and most lovable in the family and you want to get married someday.
I don’t know what I’m going to do about Lizzie though. She has been a total PAIN on the Brighton front. She was a pain when we WEREN’T going and she’s being a pain now that I am! I was walking past Papa’s office to see about grabbing some flowers from the garden to put in my suitcase so that my clothes will smell AMAZING when I unpack in Brighton [Thanks Pinterest!], and I may or may not have dropped some eaves on a convo between Lizzie and the Pops. She was all, “Lydia can’t go to Brighton! She’ll make the family look ridiculous! She’s a super-flirt--” Hells, yeah I am! “—and she’s going to make us the cause of ridicule, just like she already has.” I don’t know what that ‘already has’ business is all about, and apparently neither did Papa, because he was all “Has Lydia scared away some of your suitors? Lol.” And she was all, “No…” but it totally sounded like a “Yes.” Whatever, Lizzie! And Papa was all “Don’t worry, Lizzie. This way Lydia can expose herself in public without inconveniencing us ether financially or socially.” Pfft. Ok, Pops. Permission to live and have some seriously fun times? I’ll take it! At that point the conversation sounded pretty over, so I went on my merry way.
All this to say, part of me doesn’t want to matchmaker for Lizzie because she doesn’t appreciate my obvious talent for it, but the other part of me loves the challenge. Also, I kind of have to get her married so that I can get married because rules are dumb. It would be SO MUCH EASIER if we didn’t have to marry in order of age. Not only do I have to find the perfect soldier with dark curly hair, smoldering eyes, a beautifully tied cravat, and perfect abs underneath his perfectly fitting suit who also happens to be hopelessly and ridiculously in love with me, but I also have to make matches for FOUR sisters. FOUR. Ugh. Life is not fair… but at least there’s Brighton!
Speaking of, I have a bonnet to “borrow.” I think Kitty went for a walk in the garden, so this will probably be my only opportunity before the Forsters and I leave this afternoon! GAHH! I’m SO EXCITED I COULD DIE!!!
Ta and kisses, Diary! The next time we chat, we’ll be beach babes in Brighton. Hells yeah!
Lydia, the hot sister ßLOLZ
Lydia’s Kickass Brighton Playlist is as follows <3:
We are the Champions by Queen
Happy by Parrell Williams
Geronimo by Sheppard
Part of Me by Katy Perry
One Thing by One Direction
Do My Thang by Miley Cyrus
Confident by Demi Lovato
Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO
Bang Bang by Jesse J/Ariana Grande
Ex’s & Oh’s by Elle King
Desperate Measures by Mariana’s Trench
Someone New by Hozier
The Spark by Afrojack/Spree Wilson
Levels by Nick Jonas
We Are Young by 3OH!3
Die Young by Kesha
Animals by Maroon 5
Beta Love by Ra Ra Riot
Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson
Wild Ones by Flo Rida/Sia
Fine by Me by Andy Grammer
Show Me What I’m Looking For by Carolina Liars
Show Me Love by Michael Mind Project
Break the Rules by Charlie XCX
Oh No! by Mindy Gledhill
Haven’t Had Enough by Mariana’s Trench
I Don’t Care by Fall Out Boy
Fast in My Car by Paramore
We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus
Just Dance by Lady Gaga
Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor
As awkward as it had been, speaking with Wickham after receiving Darcy’s expose letter, Lizzie had to admit, making Wickham uneasy was strangely gratifying, especially now that her new insight into his character allowed her to see the affectation in his personality that before she had somehow missed. She was more than relieved when he left town with his regiment. She hoped that it might prove the last time she would see him. Her comment about Darcy had put him on edge, and thankfully had caused Wickham to stop flirting with her.
While it was gratifying that she no longer had to see Wickham, and the house was quieter without Lydia to beg, plead, shout, and squeal about soldiers, Lizzie found Longbourne a bit duller now. The social events were less varied, and her house felt rather sad between Mrs. Bennet’s gloom and Kitty’s depression at not being in Brighton with Lydia, whose infrequent letters were greatly anticipated, but did not include enough content to satisfy Kitty or Mama. Happily, Lizzie had her tour of the lakes to look forward to with her Uncle and Aunt Gardiner to pull her though the slump, and prior to her departure, the household seemed to have recovered from the “Brighton incident.”
As the trip loomed closer, however, Lizzie’s lake plans fell through. She received (you guessed it!) a LETTER from her aunt, explaining that because of business, Mr. Gardiner would not be able to travel as far as the lakes, so the new plan was to stay in Derbyshire, which, her aunt assured her, would have more than enough to occupy them for three weeks.
Lizzie was a bit bummed, especially since she had made a travel itinerary and had bought a map specifically for the lake country, but she was determined to make the best of the change in plans. A vacation is a vacation, even if the word Derbyshire made Lizzie think of Pemberley.
When at long last the Gardiners arrived, Lizzie was promptly swooped up in their carriage for a whirlwind adventure. Her aunt, passionate about Derbyshire because of the time she had spent living in Lambton, mentioned that Pemberley was very nearby.
“I would love to see Pemberley again! You have heard so much about it, Lizzie. Would you not like to see it too?” Mrs. Gardiner gushed.*
So awkward. Lizzie had no desire to explain to her aunt that she didn’t want to visit the home of the man whose proposal she had refused, so instead she said, “I’m not too excited about seeing another fancy house on this trip, Aunt.”
Mrs. Gardiner would not accept that as an answer. “If it were just the house richly furnished, I would not care for it either, but the grounds are exceptional. They have some of the finest woods in the country!”
While it still struck Lizzie as wrong to visit Pemberley, after making some inquiries she learned that the family would not be home, so at long last, she gave in, and agreed to visit the estate with the Gardiners.
*Historical Interlude: So apparently this is totally a thing that middle-class folks like the Bennets and the Gardiners would do as a vacation--visit the grand estates of people like Mr. Darcy. I don't know that randomly showing up at someone's house and inspecting it is my idea of an incredible vacation, but then again, if the house came with a Mr. Darcy...I might reconsider...
This week's chapters were written by Lydia Bennet herself, our very own Kylie Rose. You can see her this summer in our production of Pride & Prejudice: An Adaptation.
NEXT WEEK: Lizzie Visits Pemberly, And It Is Not Quite As Empty As She Had Hoped...
At long last, Lizzie was able to corner Jane for some healthy soul-baring sister talk. Plus
cupcakes, because sister talks.
“So this thing happened, Jane…”
“Thing?” Jane munches a cupcake, “What sort of thing?”
“Darcy proposed in a really insulting way, so I refused him”
“Mmrph!” Jane spewed cupcake crumbs over the bedspread. “What?”
“He must feel so bad! Poor man, to confess his feelings in such an unappealing way…”
“What’s worse, is that he wrote me a letter to explain himself and it turns out that Wickham is a total toolbag because he tried to elope with Darcy’s sister, and Darcy may not be that bad of a person after all.”
“Oh goodness. I’m so glad to hear that your opinion of Darcy has changed. I knew he was good at heart! But I’m sure Wickham isn’t all that bad… he’s always very nice. I’m sure there has been some misunderstanding. I know that he’s very kind to animals. He can’t be that bad of a person, can he?”
Lizzie takes a dab of cupcake frosting on her finger.
“Jane, you can’t make them both good. Between the two of them there is only enough goodness for one person, and I’m inclined to believe that person is Mr. Darcy.”
She boops Jane on the nose. Disgruntled, Jane wipes the frosting off in disgust.
“Oh Lizzie-- ”
“So it turns out that one of them got all of the goodness, and the other all of the appearance of goodness.”
“Lizzie, that is unkind. You can’t have been so silly about the letter when you first read it.”
“I wasn’t because it turns out Darcy is actually a really cool guy, and because I was so wrapped up in myself I didn’t realize it. I took everything at face value and now I’m been a complete jerk to him. How I wished you were there, Jane!”
*Insert sisterly hug of comfort here*
After further cupcakes, a promise of locked lips and secrecy, and a brief pillow fight that ended in a tie, Lizzie’s heart finally felt at rest. The Darcy’s secrets had worn on her mind overmuch, and having the opportunity to confide in someone lifted Lizzie’s spirits. Even so, she could not bring herself to tell Jane the role Darcy had played in the Jangley breakup. She resolved to tell Jane of her knowledge only in the unlikely event that Jangley was reunited. No sense in distressing Jane when her sister was clearly OVER Bingley. Mrs. Bennet, however, was not.
“What do you think of this sad business of Jane’s, hmm?”
“I daresay, I’m certainly not going to speak of the matter any longer; I was just telling my sister Mrs. Philips this the other day! And everyone I’ve talked with mentioned that he’s not going to come to Netherfield in the summer. What do you say to that?”
“I do not think he will live at Netherfield any longer.”
Mrs. Bennet pursed her lips. “It is just as he chooses. Nobody wants him to come. I will always say that he has treated my Jane very poorly, and when she dies of a broken heart… then he’ll be sorry for what he has done.”
In that moment, having no idea how to respond, Lizzie had a great desire to learn how to make cricket noises.
“And so,” Mrs. Bennet continued “the Collinses live very comfortably, do they? Well. I only hope it will last. I’m sure Charlotte is an excellent manager—“
“She is indeed, Mama—“
“Well, much good may it do them. I’m sure they often talk about having Longbourne when your father is dead. They look on it as quite their own, I dare say, whenever that happens—“
“I promise, they never discussed the matter in front of me-- ”
Mrs. Bennet sniffed. “It would be very strange if they had! I have no doubt they talk about it often between themselves. Well, if they can be so easy with an estate that is not lawfully their own, so much the better. I would be positively ashamed of having an estate that was only entailed upon me. ASHAMED!”
This week's chapter was written by one of our all-time heroes, Kylie Rose. She's playing Lydia Bennet in our upcoming production.
NEXT WEEK: What Happens in Brighton, Stays In Brighton...right?? Plus, FIELD TRIP TO PEMBERLEY!!
Cupcakes for Rainy Days
Nutella Cheesecake CupcakesPrep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
For the topping
Darcy and Colonel Fitz OUT!
No, seriously. They left. Lady Catherine was very "put out,” and required much of Mr. Collin’s attention to recover from their departure. This of course meant that inevitably Lizzie found herself at a dinner party at Lady C’s honoring the two absent gentlemen.
“I don’t think anyone could feel their absence more strongly than I! Truly, I don’t.”
Lizzie nodded supportively, as was expected, even though she was convinced that her own gratitude that Darcy and the Colonel were gone could contest Lady C’s grief.
Eagle-eyed, Lady Catherine observed Lizzie’s internal turmoil.
“You seem quite out of spirits Miss Bennet. It must be because you are leaving Rosings. Oh! You must write your parents and let them know you must stay awhile longer.”
A verbal tug of war ensued:
“Oh, Lady Catherine, thank you so much for the invitation, but I really must be home on Saturday.” Yank.
Two points to Elizabeth for her delicate refusal!
“But you have only been here six weeks and I expected you for two months. Surely your mother can spare you for a while longer. There is no good reason for you to leave now.” Gritting her teeth, Lady C stands firm and pulls furiously, much like a small but ferocious lap dog.
Four points to Lady Catherine!
Gahhh! Think Lizzie, think!
“My mother may be able to spare me, but my father cannot!” Tug.
Two points to Lizzie! It’s a tie now! Who will pull ahead?
“If your mother can spare you, your father definitely can. Daughters are never of much consequence to fathers.” Yank.
A painfully sexist point for Lady Catherine! Will she be able to keep her lead?
“Besides, if you stay for a month I will take you to London.”
The carrot dangles. Lizzie pretends to consider it.
“You really are too kind, but I believe we must abide by our original plan, Lady Catherine.”
OHHH SNAP! 3 points for Lizzie! Victory for the Bennett sister! In the tug of war power play, Lizzie reigns supreme although she is unable to leave before hearing an unholy amount of travel advice from Lady Catherine. While she certainly didn’t enjoy hearing all of the nonsense on the proper way to fold a handkerchief in a suitcase, Lizzie was grateful for the distraction. Whenever she had a moment of solitude, her mind wandered back to Darcy’s letter and his comments about her family. It was like trying to ignore a sliver in your finger. Torturous. Almost as torturous as Mr. Collins’s “goodbye breakfast” with Lizzie.
“Miss Elizabeth, I just wanted to say that we are SO grateful that you came to visit us here at Huntsford. I know it must seem very plain and dull to a young woman like yourself, but we are so grateful that you condescended to come and visit nevertheless.”
“Mr. Collins, do not worry yourself. I promise I had a wonderful time.”
“Truly.” With the exception of the awkward encounters with Mr. Darcy, but we aren’t going to discuss that.
“Oh, we are SO GLAD to hear that. Of course, our connection with Rosings is nothing to be sniffed at. I flatter myself that you will be able to bring a very favorable report of our situation here to Hertfordshire. As you have seen, Charlotte and I are so VERY happy together. One might go so far as to say we are PERFECT for each other. DESTINED for one another. Mmm. Yes. So wonderfully happy in the bosom of marital bliss.” Mr. Collins coughs discretely. “How about you, Cousin Lizzie? Still single, are you?”
Lizzie dreams of duct taping Mr. Collin’s mouth shut and locking him in one of his perfectly shelved closets.
“That is to say, I can most cordially wish you equal felicitations in marriage, Cousin Elizabeth.”
Lizzie once more expressed her sincere thanks and gave Mr. Collins and Charlotte her blessing, and with that awkward conversation over and done with, Lizzie and Maria made their way to Mr. Gardiner’s house, where they picked up Jane and from there, continued on their journey home, which, while not unpleasant, felt quite tedious to Lizzie, who longed to have a girl’s night with Jane over some Chunky Monkey ice cream to discuss Darcy’s proposal and the fact that Bingley might not be a creep after all!
After a decent chunk of visiting time with the Gardiners, the girls finally made their way to the inn where Mr. Bennett’s coach was to meet them, only to discover that Kitty and Lydia had come to meet them and were waiting in the dining room upstairs.
“LIZZIE! You’re here! Are you surprised? I bet you’re surprised. Look! Kitty and I got a new bonnet! Also, we brought you food! Are we not mature and adult-ish? Are we not nice?”
Wow, Lydia. That’s um… that’s lovely. I really—”
“Feel free to tell us we’re the best sisters ever!” Kitty chimed in.
Lydia stomped her foot. “Shut up Kitty, I’m trying to tell Lizzie about the bonnet!”
“I don’t see why you have to tell all of the stories—”
“My bonnet, my story.” Lydia stuck her tongue out at Kitty and brandished a puce bonnet that looked like vomit and defeat had joined forces to create unquestionable sadness. “Isn’t it horrifically ugly?”
As all of her sisters agreed, Lydia continued “There were more bonnets in the shop much uglier than this one, but when I’ve repurposed this one with some satin and a nice ribbon it will at least be tolerable. Even then, it’s not what we’ll be wearing in the summer because the soldiers are leaving for Brighton in a fortnight. Do you think I can convince Papa to take us there for the summer? How rotten our summer shall be if we don’t have camps full of soldiers to dance with!”
Lizzie and Jane shared a look.
“I have MORE news Lizzie. It’s about a certain gentleman we both know! Guess!”
“No. You’re not being very inventive. Try again.”
“You’re rubbish at this. It’s Mr. Wickham!”
Lizzie could feel her face draining of all color and a slight sense of panic coming over her.
Lydia looked smug. “I thought that might get your attention. Big story: he’s not going to marry Mary King. Right?!? I know what you’re thinking: THANK GOD! Another eligible bachelor for the snatching! Or to drool over. I’m telling you Lizzie, Wickham got out of a very bad situation. Mary King has SO many freckles she looks like a leopard—”
Lizzie made supportive noises of bemusement as she attempted to process this new information. With her newfound knowledge, she wouldn’t wish Wickham on anyone. It seemed a lucky escape for Miss King! But without her money, what would Wickham do next?
Lydia and Kitty talked for the entire duration of the carriage ride home. Again, a welcome distraction from her thoughts of Darcy’s letter, even though the subject matter: soldiers, dances, and Lydia’s “newfound bestie forever” Mrs. Forester were not particularly intriguing to Lizzie. Less interesting was the fact that Lydia somehow brought Wickham up at least once every hour. Not ideal when he is the exact person Lizzie was trying to avoid thinking of.
Luckily, they all made it home without any casualties. Mr. Bennett seemed quite pleased to see Lizzie, and she was pleased to discover that he was standing firm by refusing the Brighton proposal, in spite of Lydia’s best pleading face, much to the distress of Mrs. Bennet, Kitty, and especially Lydia.
The Brighton drama meant the household was chaos, as usual. To the music of Lydia and Kitty’s whining exclamations of “But PaPA!” and her mother’s declarations that her poor nerves could not possibly handle how selfish her cruel husband was, Lizzie made her way to her bedroom, strangely comforted by the madness in the next room. There really is no place like home.
This week's chapters were written by our very own Kylie Rose, who will be playing Lydia Bennet in our upcoming production!
NEXT WEEK: To Expose or Not To Expose? (Wickham, that is) and Where do all the CRAZIEST parties happen in Regency England?? Das right, BRIGHTON BABY!!!!!!
A complete list of things to do in Georgian Britain (if you’re a middle class woman with no income and aren’t allowed to do much of anything anyway):
Walking is great, and it’s one of Elizabeth’s FAVE THINGS to do, but she, you know, prefers to do it alone, or at least with someone she likes. Mr. Darcy does not fall into that latter category. And yet, every time Elizabeth takes a walk around Hunsford, she runs into him! Like he’s doing it on purpose! What is this guy’s deal?? Surely someone who was hypothetically (see previous post!) in love with someone else wouldn’t go out of their way to deliberately annoy them. Hypothetically. Such are Elizabeth’s thoughts. She told him the first time they met that this was a favorite haunt of hers, HINT HINT, yet he insists on showing up. So Elizabeth is understandably apprehensive when she sees someone approaching her on her route one day. THANK GOD, it’s just Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s #1 wingman (“Have you met my friend, Darcy? He makes £10,000 a year!) Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth get to chatting about money, being rich, and how some people with money can really be assholes (guess who):
Lizzie: So, how long are you staying?
Fitzwilliam: Oh, it’s up to Darcy.
Fitz: He’s not so bad, really. He can get what he wants more easily than others, maybe…being rich, and all. And the eldest son. When you’re the youngest, like me, you don’t get very much of what you want of anything!
Lizzie: Oh, boo-hoo. Life must be so hard for you. You poor, slightly rich man.
Fitz: …Touché. So, maybe I’m better off than others! But there are some things—well, marriage, for instance! We can’t always marry where we like, always aiming our sights higher…even when our affections tend to someone more….at our own….you know…level.
Lizzie: *Blushing* Hmm. Well. Um, that’s nice. So, speaking of nothing at all, how much do you make?
Fitz: Oh, uh….
Jane didn’t think it was appropriate for the reader to know, so she changes the subject.
The subject shifts to Georgiana, Fitz revealing that he and Darcy share in Georgiana’s guardianship. Lizzie says she’s heard Georgiana can be a little difficult (Wickham, if you recall, said she was just as prideful as her brother), and Fitz’s reaction is basically: “……….huh??” Lizzie doesn’t want to make a thing of it, and assures him she’s heard very good things about Georgiana from Bingley’s sisters. Fitz mentions that he’s met Bingley, and that Darcy is rather protective of him. Lizzie wonders aloud if perhaps Darcy’s too protective of him.
Fitz: Well...there was this thing, recently…I mean, I don’t know if it was Bingley, Darcy never said, and if the news were to get around to the lady’s family…
Lizzie: I WON’T TELL A SOUL. SPILL THE TEA.
Fitz proceeds to relate to Lizzie the story of Darcy’s rescuing Bingley from what he believed to be an imprudent marriage, to someone who sounds suspiciously like Longbourn’s #1 Sweetheart, Jane Bingley! GASP.
After returning to the parsonage, Lizzie is so angry that she’s able to convincingly fake a stomach ache and get out of dinner at Rosings (something I used to do in middle school to get out of Algebra 1! Nice thinking, Lizzie!). She is furious; furious that Darcy was apparently congratulating himself over a job well done, furious that he had “objections against the lady”—Jane, the best person in the world! Of course, Lizzie concludes, he doesn’t have objections against her, he just has objections against members of their family working for a living! Of course, maybe their mother can be a little….but no, Darcy wouldn’t prioritize sense over dollars. His aunt is Lady Catherine. Come on.
Conclusion: Darcy is an absolute asshat. Lizzie would be totally fine with never seeing him again.
And guess who just walked in the door! That’s right, the asshat! (I’m amping up the irony a bit here, but seriously, Austen’s very good at it. Hello, last person in the world that I want to see right now? What could you possibly be here to do? Hahahahhahaha oh, Jane).
Darcy [awkwardly]: *clears throat* How….are you feeling?
Lizzie [coldly]: Fine.
Darcy: [Sits down. Says nothing for a few moments. Gets up. Walks around the room, still saying nothing. Five minutes pass, probably].
Darcy [Suddenly “in great agitation” comes toward Lizzie and says the line that is too famous for me to paraphrase]: In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
Every reader since 1813: Oh my god!!! Oh my god, what!!
Darcy takes Lizzie’s stunned silence as encouragement, and continues on the subject of his affection for her in great detail—and how he feels this way despite her not being his type, despite her being an inferior match financially and socially, and despite doing everything he could not to like her! EMBARRASSING.
Lizzie: I know in these situations you’re supposed to feel grateful for the compliment, but I honestly dislike you so much that I don’t feel bad about completely shredding you. Even if you hadn’t been completely rude to me just now, did you seriously think you could get away with asking me to marry you after your separating Jane and Bingley? Don’t pretend like you had no part in it.
Darcy: I did have a part in it. I protected my friend from embarrassment and heartbreak; I don’t see that as a poor decision. Indeed, I should have followed my own advice (then I wouldn’t be having this terrible conversation!!).
Lizzie: And what about Mr. Wickham?
Darcy: [keeping it together quite valiantly] ……Yeeeeesss….what about him?
Lizzie: You know what about him!
Darcy: I can’t think of anything I’ve done to Wickham that he didn’t deserve.
Lizzie: Seriously? You’ve reduced him to near poverty, deprived him of the opportunities that were meant to be provided for him--
Darcy: You don’t really care about any of that. I was honest just now about the disadvantages in my marrying you. Your PRIDE was hurt. That’s why you’re rejecting me.
Elizabeth then levels up, and delivers the sickest burn that cannot possibly be paraphrased with any due justice:
Lizzie: [standing up] You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.
Lizzie: You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.
Lizzie: From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.
[A PREGNANT PAUSE]
Darcy: I’m so very sorry for bothering you. Get well soon. I’ll think I’ll just be. Going now. [He goes].
Lizzie: [MIC DROP]
 About £796,000 today, or $1,154,956. Annually! Has this been mentioned yet? Because damn.
 This image is hilarious to me
This week's chapters were written by our very own Helena Fisher-Welsh, who is playing Elizabeth Bennet in our upcoming production!
Next week: Oh, so you think you’ve heard the last from Human Disaster Fitzwilliam Darcy? Think again! He’s GONNA WRITE A LETTER. Elizabeth reacts…
Alright, so Elizabeth is still at Hunsford (Charlotte's house) with Charlotte and new hubby, Mr. Collins (suppress gag reflex here). After the Musical Chairs evening with Lady Catherine (see previous post!), they visit with Lady Catherine a few more times. Lady Catherine can't officially hold the title of "Justice of the Peace" (which basically gave wealthy men permission to be nosy, control-freak managers of the local population), because she's a woman...but basically she does it anyway.
Elizabeth finds a nice, quiet path and finds LOTS of excuses for "fresh air."
Enter into this peaceful scene, Good News and Bad News. Bad News first: Mr. Darcy comes to visit his Aunt (supposedly) and shows up at Rosings. BUT he brings Good News with him, in the form Colonel Fitzwilliam, another nephew of Lady Catherine.
He's not that good-looking, but he's SUPER nice. Elizabeth takes note....I could hit that.
Meanwhile, Darcy is being his usual gloomy self. He manages a (gasp!) polite question to Liz, "How's your family?"
"Good," Liz replies. "Maybe you've seen my sister, Jane, in town? She's been there the last three months," she asks, pointedly. Liz wants to see if Darcy might reveal anything about WTF happened between Bingley and Jane...
He doesn't know anything. Hm.
The group at Hunsford heads over to Rosings for their first official "evening" with Darcy & the Colonel, since their arrival. Liz usually dreads the Rosings visits...but this time, she enters the room, and is immediately pulled aside by the Colonel. They start chatting...
...and he's FUNNY...
...and he's CHARMING...
...and he's SMART...
Their laughter draws the attention of Darcy. He stares at them from across the room. #cockblocked
Their laughter also draws the attention of Lady Catherine. She's a little less subtle about it. #divablocked
"What did you say, Fitzwilliam?? What was that?? What did you tell Miss Bennet?? Let me hear." (legit guys, this is pretty much what it says in the book)
"Uh...music?" replies the Colonel, and he and Liz giggle.
"MUSIC IS MY DELIGHT," says Lady Catherine, thrilled to have a subject she can continue to be the center of attention of. "I love it. Music is awesome. Georgiana* plays, does she not, Darcy?"
"I am so glad to hear her so well spoken of. Tell her, from me, that she should practice all the time. Practice, practice, practice!"
"Miss Bennet!! YOU should practice more, you are welcome to come any time and practice on the piano here. You will not get better without CONSTANT practice. Yes, DO come over, and then you will be as skilled as Georgiana."
The Colonel, bless his sweet heart, attempts to smooth this over by asking Liz to play piano for everyone...and with a reluctant heart, she does. For the record, Elizabeth's piano repertoire consists of "Chopsticks", half of "Heart and Soul" and those two notes from the "Jaws" theme...
The Colonel sits on one side of Liz...and Darcy comes and sits on the other. Ooh, juicy. Here we go:
LIZ: Are you trying to frighten me, Mr. Darcy?
DARCY: I don't think I could if I tried.
LIZ: Don't listen to him, Colonel. I could tell you such stories about him...
COLONEL: Ooh!! Like what??
LIZ: The first time I met Mr. Darcy, it was at a dance, and he danced with NO ONE. Even though there were plenty of "alright" girls to dance with...#buuuuuurrrrrnnnnnn
DARCY: I didn't know anyone...
LIZ: Right, and no one can be introduced in a ballroom. Colonel, what should I play next?
Darcy: I'm not good at talking to people I don't know.
LIZ: Maybe you should, as your Aunt says, "Practice, practice, practice." #CHECKMATE
LADY CATHERINE: HELLO!! Ahem!! What are you all talking about???!!
Liz goes back to playing Chopsticks. The Colonel does a little mental fist pump.
Darcy is pensive.
*Georgiana is Darcy's younger sister.
I'm pretty sure* that the following is the first awkward rom-com scene ever written.
*and by pretty sure, I mean that I have no idea and have done absolutely zero research on the matter. But I really hope that it is, because this scene is bloody brilliant.
The morning after the "Practice, practice, practice!" evening at Rosings, Elizabeth is alone at Hunsford, writing a letter to Jane.
All of the sudden, Darcy bursts through the door. And this happens....
He leaves, Charlotte enters. Liz relays what happened.
And Charlotte declares, "He must be in love with you, Lizzie."
WHAAAATTTT????? No way. I mean, NO. WAY. Darcy??? He's probably just bored.
Elizabeth dismisses the idea.
In the meantime, Darcy and the Colonel start to show up at Hunsford...a LOT. Lizzie starts to lean toward the Colonel...and Charlotte watches Darcy with Liz....
He does stare at her an AWFUL lot....could it be...?
TO BE CONTINUED!
NEXT WEEK: The Colonel spills the beans about Jangley, and THE PROPOSAL. Yup. It's happening. Don't miss it! "Like Us" on Facebook to receive notifications of new posts!
In the next three chapters, we get a break from the long, rambling letters. Yay!
Buried in a mass of letters, Elizabeth sits up and sees one from Charlotte. Yay! Then she remembers Charlotte is now Mrs. Collins. Eugh. She opens the letter anyway. Charlotte is inviting her to stay with them. Mmm, okay sure. It's been a while since Liz has had such a deliciously easy target as Collins.
Charlotte's Dad, Sir William Lucas and Charlotte's sister, Maria (Okay Austen, way to introduce another character super late in the game!), join Elizabeth on her journey. On the way, they stop by the Gardiners' house to check in on Jane.
(SO MANY PEOPLE in that last sentence. If you're lost, check out the map here.)
So in case it's all a big blurry mess, Jane went to stay with the Gardiners after Bingley & the Netherfield folk peaced out and left Netherfield for London. She's basically doing a Boy-Detox.
Jane looks okay to Liz, but you never know. She checks with Mrs. Gardiner, and Mrs. G says Jane is okay overall--a little up and down, but that's to be expected. Then Mrs. G brings up Wickham. Liz tells her that he is now pursuing a Miss King...who comes with a For Sale sign and cash.
Mrs. G scolds Wickham for pursuing a girl simply for the sake of money. And I'm going to put on my Super Nerd hat here for a second, because Liz brings up this great Paradox of the time she was living in:
When Wickham was pursuing Liz, Mrs. G was all: Hey! Not Cool! Neither of you guys have money, you can't get married! How imprudent!
Now that Wickham is purusing Miss King, Mrs. G is all: Hey! Not Cool! You shouldn't only pursue a girl because she's rich! How mercenary!
What's a girl to do??????
At the end of this heady conversation, Mrs. G invites Liz on a bit of a nature tour of England after she's visited Charlotte. And Elizabeth gets that amazing line:
"Ah yes! What are men to rocks and mountains?"
Amen sister. Amen.
Liz & Sir William Lucas & Maria arrive at Hunsford, the abode of Collins & Charlotte. Collins makes sure to point out all the awesome things about his house--
--"Check out our hedges! See how tall they are? Man they are SO TALL. What a bummer, Elizabeth, that you don't have hedges like these...and did I point out our rose bushes? I mean, right? They are so awesome--oh, I forgot yours all died last winter, sorry Elizabeth...OH, and look at our awesome shoe rack, I mean, this is NOT an Ikea shoe rack, it is like, REAL WOOD, you could have been putting your shoes on THIS shoe rack EVERY DAY, if you had accepted my proposal, but I'm SURE you're not bummed about that AT ALL--did I mention how pointy our roof is?"--
Subtle, Mr. Collins. Subtle.
Things quiet down, Liz gets to talk to Charlotte alone for a little bit, when suddenly there's a flurry of shouts.
"CHARLOTTE--COME QUICK--OH MY--COME CHARLOTTE--YOU MUST--CHARLOTTE!!!!!!!!!!"
Liz & Charlotte run outside, because obviously you don't shout like that unless something is on fire or dying or drowning...and Collins jumping up and down and pointing at a carriage parked at the end of the road.
"What is it, dear?" says Charlotte.
"ANNE DE BOURGH!!!!!!" shouts Collins who looks like a rabid fan at a concert who maybe just peed his pants a little.
Liz sticks out her hip and is about to look at Charlotte to share one of their famous "Really!?" looks, but before she can do so, Charlotte starts moving excitedly toward the carriage.
Oh no. Has Charlotte converted to Collinsism?
Charlotte seems to be speaking to someone inside the carriage. The conversation ends, the carriage drives off, and Charlotte comes back.
"We've all been invited to dine with Lady Catherine tomorrow evening!"
Collins lets out a sound that's half utter delight and half terror.
Liz cocks an eyebrow. She takes a breath. Okay. Here we go.
The next day the entire crew arrives at Rosings Park, Lady Catherine's giant, intimidating estate. And what a crew. Maria looks like she's about to faint. Collins looks like he's about to pee, from excitement or nervousness, Liz isn't sure. Even Sir William Lucas is slightly green. Charlotte is the only one who looks relatively calm. Good for you, Charlotte, we know who wears the pants in this relationship.
They enter. Collins opens his mouth to speak and Charlotte quickly intercepts that impending train wreck. Charlotte introduces every one. And they sit down to dinner. Lady Catherine rearranges how everyone is sitting, several times.
Musical chairs anyone?
They find seats suitable to her Ladyship. Liz checks out Anne de Bourgh, who, if you'll remember, has technically been engaged to Mr. Darcy since birth. Anne is a tiny little thing, chronically ill, completely silent and miserable. Liz wishes the two of them much happiness...muahaha.
Cue Regency pleasantries.
After dinner they go to drawing room to wait for coffee. Lady Catherine takes stock of the room and delivers her opinion on every subject she can think of with dictatorial decisiveness. Liz thinks Lady Catherine only needs a hairless cat and signature catch phrase to complete her Evil Villain Taking Over The World act.
And then she turns to Elizabeth. She fires questions fatal accuracy. Here is a list of every question Lady Catherine actually poses to Liz, direct from the book. Sometimes Liz gets time to answer, sometimes not:
How many sisters do you have?
Older or younger?
Any of them likely to be married?
Any of them handosme (pretty)?
Are you all educated?
Does your father keep a carriage?
Your mother's maiden name? (WTF??!!)
Do you play and sing?
Do your sisters play and sing?
Why didn't you all learn?
Do you draw?
None of you?
Has your governness left you?
Who taught you?
Who attended to you?
Are any of your younger sisters out?
Your younger sisters must be very young?
What is your age--
"ENOUGH ALREADY, JEEZY PETES, WHAT THE @#$% DO YOU WANT FROM ME???"
Okay, she doesn't really say that. But come on, if YOU had questions fired at you like that, how would YOU react??
Amazingly, Liz manages to channel her frustration with Lady Catherine into a saucy, politically correct response: "With all my younger sisters grown up, you can hardly expect me to own up to my age."
Lady Catherine is astonished. No one has ever broken the Line of Questions before. Who the hell is this girl, anyway? She decides to keep a close eye on this one.
When coffee is over, they play cards, and go.
As they leave, Collins asks: What did you think of Lady Catherine?
Collins: That's okay, I'll tell you what to think!! (Cue long uninteresting ramble...so uninteresting that even Austen didn't write it. She ended the chapter there.)
NEXT WEEK: We meet the Hunky Colonel & Darcy Attempts To Practice Conversation! (one of my favorite scenes!)
Comment below with YOUR reaction if you were questioned in such a way as Lady Catherine questioned Liz!
Caitlin Lushington is the Co-Artistic Director of the Enso Theatre Ensemble, a teacher, director, and actress. Sometimes she works too hard, sometimes she forgets things, and she strives to put the car keys back in the same place every time. She drinks tea every morning from her TARDIS mug and "Mr. Tea" diffuser. She loves the morning and wishes she had a photographic memory, so she could remember the names of every person she meets.